Blog · Career · Censorship

To Niche or Not to Niche

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Is it pronounced Nee-sh or Nit-ch?

I pronounce it the first way. But then again I say Tah-mot-oh, not toe-may-toe, so please don’t listen to me.

I’ve taken multiple online courses about blogging. The one thing that seems to have been passed around at the University of Blog, where some of these instructors went to, is the fact that a blog MUST have a niche. I disagree.

The reason many people might blog about only one thing is that it is all they know. Now, they might be an expert on that subject, and good for them, but that sounds pretty boring to me. I’m not saying all bloggers with niches are boring. That would be wrong for me to imply because the ones who do niche semen to do very well because they are outstanding in their field… or is that standing out in their field? I dunno.

Long time readers of this blog know that I talk about everything and anything. No nitches here. (mis-spelling intentional) And I know I’m not an expert in anything. I’m totally fine with that because it means whatever path I take, I’m always learning something new. I love learning.

The problem with creating a niche is that the world is forever evolving. Imagine spending 3 years blogging about the Blue Ray Disc. Boom, one day you wake up and that technology is no longer en vogue. New blog time.

The argument is, it is better to be a specialist in one thing than a generalist in many. To further bolster that argument they ask the million-dollar question. In the medical field  who makes more money? A general practitioner or a specialist? Well, of course, the specialist does. I get that argument, but most blogs are not curing cancer. I look at my blog as entertainment. As a former Hollywood agent, I saw that the best entertainers made a boatload of money. Since I have no talent, I thought I’d blog!

Back in the early days of Hollywood they had what was called the studio system in place. Actors and Actresses signed long term contracts with a particular studio and only made movies for that studio. Talk about early niche marketing.

The studios also owned the movie theaters. A millionaire named Howard Hughes came along and helped the government break up the studios system. It forced the studios that made movies to form another company that showed the movies. However at that time the actors were still contracted to be able to work at only one studio.

In the 1950s Hollywood faced three great challenges: The break up of Studio/movie theatre ending the studio system, the new popularity of television, and post-World War II consumer spending providing its audience with many other leisure options. So it was no longer profitable for an actor to align with just one production company.

For the longest time, even after the break-up of the studio system actors had to decide what kind of work they wanted to do. A major motion picture star would never consider doing television work because motion pictures were their niche. Likewise, if a television actor wanted to do movies, but because they were a TV actor, that was their niche and they could never leave it. Stage actors were stage actors… that was their niche. Commercial actors were commercial actors, and only commercial actors… that was their niche.

Want Broader Success? Don’t Stay in Your Niche.

Fortunately, in the early 1980s that seemed to not matter, and many actors now were jumping from TV after using that platform to get noticed and then springing into a full-blown movie career. Likewise, many movie stars have found the general routine of making a TV series more desirable than the grueling schedule of making films and have switched from film to TV.

A major movie star can make really good money as a TV actor and they actually create a much bigger fan base because they are in your homes sometimes on a daily bases, like when you binge watch their series.

Here are a few Actors who go both ways, so to speak.

  • Tom Hanks
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Ashton Kucher
  • Will Smith
  • Bruce Willis
  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Mila Kunis

Athletes have the same niche problem. Once they established themselves as an outstanding athlete in one specific sport, they are ill advised to switch sports. Why? Just because 99% of other athletes can’t do another sport as successfully, doesn’t mean a multitalented athlete should want to stay in only one niche. Here are a few who dared to break the mold.

  • Jim Thorpe
  •  “Bo” Jackson
  • Deion Sanders, Sr.
  • Marion Jones
  • Michael Jordan

But wait Mr. Brick. So, what happens when an athlete wants to go make a movie or a TV show? Isn’t that really out of their niche? Yes, Grasshopper, it is. But it is done all of the time. Here are a few examples.

  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • OJ Simpson
  • John Cena
  • Jim Brown
  • Mickey Rourke
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Jason Lee

Careers for most pro athletes are so short, they must have another niche on the down-low.

We could also talk about actors who sing or recording artists who leave that niche and start acting, but that list is very, very long. Did you know that David Hasselhoff from the Knight Rider TV series is also a megastar recording artist in Germany?

Mr. Brick Factoid: One of my very first job at Universal Studios was answering fan mail for David Hasselhoff.

Maybe it is because I spent so many years telling and guiding people away from a specific niche that it makes my skin crawl when someone asks me what niche my blog is. It isn’t any niche. It’s my little world. I’ve been blogging for almost 7 years. I blog about whatever hits me upside the head that morning.

My goal is to have the most famous blog on the planet. You can’t do that by blogging only about a certain niche because some people might want to don’t know about that niche. It’s like the response to the GP vs Specialists. Not everyone needs a specialist, but everyone needs a GP. You can say that Mr. Brick is a blogger for the people.

Don’t look at my blog as a boutique eatery that serves small portions on a big fancy plate for way too much money, with a snobby waiter named Pierre. Instead, my blog is like an all you can eat buffet. No snobbiness here. No niches. No fancy words on the menu to learn, thanks Grammarly. I’m just serving up some good stick-to-your-ribs comfort posts that will put a smile on your face.

Have a niche-less day!

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